June 1, 2016
Reprogram more vehicles with a next generation J2534 device


As a mobile diagnostic technician, Southeast Mobile Tech owner Edwin Hazzard is no stranger to diagnostic tools and says he’s always on the lookout for ones that can pull double duty or ensure that when a shop calls him and needs help diagnosing a problem vehicle, Hazzard is able to successfully pinpoint the problem. Hazzard performs mobile diagnostic and repair service for shops in the Hudson Valley in New York and generally works on 25-30 cars a week. He holds ASE T1 and T2 certifications and is a Certified Master Automotive Technician with more than 25 years of experience.

Drew Technologies CarDAQ-Plus 2

Cost: $1,800

Uses: Reprogramming, diagnostics and vehicle security

Training Required: Mobile technician Edwin Hazzard says he watched several training videos for the tool on the Drew Technologies website ( and consulted tech support, which could walk him through any issues


Hazzard purchased the CarDAQ-Plus 2 four years ago, mainly due to the high caliber of tech support that Drew Tech offers, he says. In addition, the J2534 pass-thru device is recommended by the majority of OEMs, he says, including Toyota, BMW, Volkswagen, Honda, Ford, Chrysler and General Motors. The Plus 2 has been tested for all makes, reprogramming of both J2534-1 and J2534-2, and covers GM’s Tech2Win, the PC equivalent of a Tech 2 scan tool that was written in a non-J2534 language. In addition, it can also be used as a pass-thru interface for a scan tool.

“As long as you have the factory software on your laptop, you can use this as an interface,” he says. “Drew Tech developed this tool to work with the OEM factory tool.” To use the tool, Hazzard simply hooks it up to the data link connector on the dash and the other cable goes from the pass-thru interface into the USB on the laptop, where you fire up the OEM-programming software, and then simply follow the prompts indicated. The tool performs ECU programming, generic and OEM-level diagnostics, key programming, VIN read/write, immobilizer adaptation and data monitoring.

Included with every CarDAQ is the “J2534 Toolbox” software, which provides manufacturer specific information related to J2534, how-to videos, printable walkthrough guides and OEM-specific information and procedures. Hazzard says you can also purchase the programming subscription through those links.


Hazzard says that the return for the tool was swift: Through charging $100 per flash for domestic vehicle flashes, the tool was paid for after only 18 flashes. He notes that he uses the tool a minimum of once or twice a day, meaning the tool has paid for itself “many times over,” he says. The key, Hazzard says, is to sell it as part of your shop’s services.

Furthermore, the ability to have a scan tool and pass-thru programming tool in one unit is a huge time saver, he says.

Interested in knowing the impact of a particular auto care product in the shop? Send your suggestions to [email protected].

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